Apple: Spotify pays 'app tax' on less than 1% of paid subscribers

Apple: Spotify pays 'app tax' on less than 1% of paid subscribers

Apple: Spotify pays 'app tax' on less than 1% of paid subscribers

The 15% figure applies to about 680K Spotify premium accounts.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, in a blog post about the March complaint with the European Union, alleged that if Spotify opts out of using Apple's payment system, "Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify". Apple's response was meant to underline how little Spotify pays in fees and emphasize that Spotify continues to grow under the current App Store policies.

At the time Ek argued in a blog post that Apple was "essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers".

What's more, says Apple, Spotify hasn't paid any additional commission on a single subscriber obtained via the App Store for the past three years. Apple in 2015 launched Apple Music, a subscription service that competes with Spotify. The outcome of their face-off could change what you're able to buy - and how easy it is to buy things from Apple's competitors - on Apple devices and in iOS apps.

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However, according to Apple's response to Spotify's complaint, revealed today, Spotify doesn't actually pay Apple a 30% "tax" on anything. That's why it's paying a 15% fee to Apple - the 30% fee drops to 15% after the first year of a subscription, and Spotify's members acquired through an iOS app have long since passed that one-year point.

A few months ago, Spotify filed a formal complaint with the European Commission over Apple's App Store practices, a move that sparked Apple to argue that Spotify "seeks to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem - including the substantial revenue that they draw from the App Store's customers - without making any contributions to that marketplace".

Spotify has alleged that Apple has taken several punitive steps against the music-streaming company to retaliate for Spotify pulling out of the App Store's in-app purchase system.

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